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first wheelchair

catsimmo77 Community member Posts: 1 Listener
We are looking for my sons first manual wheelchair as he starts school in september. We have been waiting for an appointment with wheelchair services for 4 months but they say we are low priority as he is happy in his SN pushchair. So we are thinking of buying one ourselves as that would also mean we could keep the SN pushchair. Can anyone advise me on where to start choosing a wheelchair ourselves we have spoken to whizz kidz but they can only advise if they are funding the chair and have a year wait.



  • ScopeHelpline
    ScopeHelpline Community member Posts: 207 Courageous
    edited February 2018
    Hi Cat

    If you decide to obtain a wheelchair privately you may find the following resources of interest:

    The Disabled Living Foundation Helpline can advise about retailers of equipment and they produce factsheets:

    For children's wheelchair safety training courses:

    Best Wishes

    Forums Moderator
  • mafala
    mafala Community member Posts: 71 Listener
    Hi Cat,

    My son is 9 and has both a manual and an electric wheelchair from the wheelchair service. We did consider buying him a wheelchair initially when things were moving slowly with the wheelchair services. I'm glad we held out. Since age 4 he has already grown out of 3 frames and about to grow into a 4th. The seating system needs adjusting at least 3-4 times a year as he is growing. If you bought a wheelchair privately, you will have no support for seat adjustment and you would have to service the chair yourselves. If you hold on for an NHS chair you'll get all that.

    We got my son an electric wheelchair from Whizz Kidzz with the help of the NHS 'voucher scheme'. The NHS gave a voucher for the value of what they would normally spend on a chair for him. The NHS paid for most of the chair through the voucher, but the chair was supplied by Whizz Kidzz, which meant that we had to pay for servicing (cost us nearly
  • Jean_OT
    Jean_OT Community member Posts: 513 Pioneering

    Hi Cat

    I appreciate it has been a long time since you posted and I would imagine that by now your son may well be a proficient wheelchair user. However, I think the question you asked is relevant to a lot of parents who are considering paying privately for a wheelchair for their child.

    If a child needs a wheelchair the best option is normally to ask their GP to refer them to their local NHS Wheelchair Service

    The Wheelchair Service can assess their needs and supply a suitable wheelchair to those that meet their criteria. Sometimes there can be a long delay to be assessed at a Wheelchair Service and this is often the main reason that some parents will decide to obtain a wheelchair for their child privately.

    There are potential risks involved in obtaining a wheelchair without a proper assessment, if the wheelchair is not appropriate to the child’s needs there may be resulting injuries or difficulties with posture. So whenever possible a proper independent assessment from a suitably qualified health professional should always take place to ensure that the correct model and size of wheelchair and any seating inserts, are selected. Once the recommended wheelchair has been obtained the professional may need to adjust it. There may also be training needs, showing the child how to use the wheelchair safely and showing parents/carers how to position the child correctly within the wheelchair etc.

    Some of the variables that need considering when choosing a wheelchair for a child are discussed in this article:

    If the child is not being assessed by the local NHS Wheelchair Service because they are going down the private route I think paying for an assessment of their needs by an Occupational Therapist in independent practice is a good idea:

    Go Kids Go! Are a good source of wheelchair training

    Wheelchairs can be expensive so sometimes people seek charitable grant funding. You can search for charitable funders at: One charity that is focused on childhood mobility is Whizz-Kidz:

    At the time of writing this post the wheelchair voucher scheme mentioned in Mafala’s reply is in the process of being reviewed/replaced by Personal Wheelchair Budgets:

    Best Wishes



    Jean Merrilees BSc MRCOT

    You can read more of my posts at:

  • vectisgal1
    vectisgal1 Community member Posts: 11 Connected
    Try Millbrook healthcare.  They are a British family owned company and they supply wheelchairs and equipment.  They have OTs to assess and their customer service is excellent.  Try them!  
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